I was a little flippant in my last post but there was a good clear message behind it. That message is…Flip-flops and sandals are bad for your feet. I hope I’ve been clear… 😉 They may feel good as they keep your feet aired during hot times but they have a severe lack of foot support.
These are my top five reasons why, from a biomechanics point of view, why sandals and flip-flops are bad for your feet:
1. Walking in flip-flops (and to a lesser extent sandals) causes you to take shorter strides so you take more steps than normal leading to an increase in pressures and forces on the body over a similar distance walk compared to a normal shoe or runner/trainer.
2. When you walk in flip-flops and sandals you have to scrunch your toes up to aid in keeping the flip-flop or sandal on your feet. This leads to shortening of the toe tendons which over a period of time can contribute to alsorts of toe problems
3. Flip-flops and sandals provide zero ankle support whatsoever and this can lead to contributing to a range of foot and ankle biomechanical issues.
4. When there is no ankle support in a shoe the arch has to over work. This can contribute to a range of foot and ankle biomechanical issues as well.
5. When the above problems occur you increase the pressures on the knuckles of the ball of the foot and they can become sore. They are taking pressure in a way that increases pain in those knuckles leading to a probloem known as metatarslagis….which just means pain in the ball of the foot.
As an added bonus….in Ireland you are going to get wet too……
I haven’t even started to go into the reasons why flip-flops are bad for your knees, hips and back. I don’t want to come across like a school headmaster so we’ll leave that lecture for another time.
Just try moderating your time in flip-flops and sandals and try to make those occasions when you’re not doing too much activity.